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EXCLUSIVE: Defector Ghanem on the move from Libya

Shokri Ghanem, the latest high-profile defector from Muammar Qadhafi’s regime, has left Tunisia and is believed to be heading for Dubai, Petroleum Economist has learned

High-level government sources told Petroleum Economist that Ghanem, who headed Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), left the Tunisian resort island of Djerba yesterday.

Other well-placed sources said Ghanem’s family have also fled Libya, with some understood to be in Dubai. In recent weeks, sources said Ghanem feared reprisals against his family in the event that he abandoned the regime.

Ghanem, 68, who was also Libya’s representative at Opec meetings, was a central figure in the Qadhafi regime and his defection is widely seen as a blow to Qadhafi.

“Ghanem’s defection is big,” said one analyst who has close contact with Libyan authorities. “Everyone’s agreeing this is the beginning of the end.”

It is unclear what role western intelligence had in Ghanem’s defection, although it is understood that his son has tried to persuade him to defect for some time. 

For detailed coverage of the situation in Libya see the articles below:

Libya rebels ‘spurn Ghanem’

Qadhafi sourcing fuel from Turkey and Italy

Oil blow for Libya's rebels

The war for Libya's oil

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